Preface to first ever ciabatta
This is a little preface to our first ever ciabatta. I/we have been baking now for about three weeks. Found The Fresh Loaf and loved the site and ended up going through Floyd's lessons. Made baguettes and they turned out great. Made cinnamon raisin oatmeal bread yesterday and that also turned out. We're having it for breakfast this morning with cafe americanos... yum.
Anyway, my husband said since we're doing so well why not try a ciabatta. He fell in love with it when he was in Italy years ago and said why not try it. Even if we don't get the big holes it will probably taste just fine. So, we're making ciabatta.
Spent some time last night looking around the Internest and I have to say, it's a little like the "hunt and peck" method I first used to learn how to type. For every recipe I found there were different techniques for mixing and rising. Quite a few recipes needed a bread machine or mixer. We have neither so the hunt continued. Some said mix the dough then leave it for an hour. Degas and let rise again then shape and rise again. Some said mix dough, let rise, stretch and fold, let rise, stretch and fold again, etc. Some said the mix dough until it comes together then let rise. Some said mix the hell out of it until it's smooth and silky. Well, it was a bit frustrating.
But, I came back to my husband saying it's really only flour and from KAF to Mark at Back Home Bakery, all their breads ended up looking great. So, I decided to combine differen techniques with a KAF recipe. Mix until it comes together, let rise, stretch and fold twice then shape and rise. We'll see what happens.
So far so good. We made the starter last night and it looks just like the picture on the recipe. We've mixed and it's going through its first rise. The dough is sticky so I'm going to try and stretch and fold in the bowl and hope for the best. If it works out, I'll post pics later today.
PS - came across a video from Gourmet showing the slap and fold method for sweet bread. Truly amazing to see a sticky dough turn silky and the final breads and rolls looked amazing. I want to try that next :-)